For five years now, Barrington Area Library has celebrated fandoms of all kinds through events that focused on Doctor Who and Star Wars back in the day to what has become a highlight of the year for so many of our customers and staff, BALibrary Comic Con. While we can't geek out on our fandoms in the same way we normally would this June, the planning committee was determined to save this event from cancellation. Why? Because the world needs it. 

Celebrating your fandom, whether it’s Harry Potter, Anime, Supernatural, Kpop, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Sherlock, Star Trek, is such a wonderful way to lift your spirits, spread a little of that good, excited energy to others and maybe help brighten their day in the process. We’ve all had those days where we just aren’t having any of it. We want to just sit in a chair, frown and feel generally down. It’s in those times where your passions, in this case your passion for whatever fandom you love, really can be a lifesaver. 

For me, when I’m having a crummy day or am out of sorts, I know all I need to do to cheer up a bit is turn on Supernatural. It instantly makes me feel good watching the show’s brothers, Dean and Sam, continuing the family business of saving people and hunting (supernatural) things. (And incidentally is available at the library and highly recommended! You won’t regret hopping on this 15 season train.) Debating with others in person, through zoom meet ups or even just by posting about it on my social media also helps and could very much be helping others who are just as uplifted by the fandom.

For you, it could be re-reading your favorite Harry Potter book or watching ‘your’ Doctor in Doctor Who. It could be debating over whether Wyatt or Flynn is the best man for Lucy to fall for in Timeless or fantasy planning your trip to Once Upon a Time's Storybrooke, so you can have a hot cocoa from Granny’s. Whatever it is, we wanted to make sure we gave everyone the chance to celebrate their fandom, even when faced down by the villain we’re currently up against.

So, get your cosplay ready, because we’re not throwing in the towel! This year's planning committee has pulled out all the stops for our first ever Virtual Fandom Fest!  June 15-June 19, we’ll be celebrating fandoms of all kinds through video panels and live discussions that are sure to get you in the comic con mindset! Panels include a live discussion with one of the top cosplay groups in the area, Age of the Geeks, two stellar kpop dance tutorial from dance teacher Katie Moffitt to get you moving (class 1, class 2), a crash course in the art of airbrush by Christopher Messer and a live discussion with Chicago’s very own Chicago United Quidditch team, who will be talking about the ins and outs of quidditch in real life. We’ll also have storytimes for the younger set and some awesome craft projects you can do at home.

We encourage everyone to get into the Fandom Fest spirit and interact with us throughout the panels and on social media! Take that cosplay out of retirement for the cosplay panel, wear your house colors for the quidditch panel-- let’s have fun with it!

For exact panel times and information on how and where to find our Fandom Fest programming, visit our website. Have questions? We’re here to answer them-- just email us at In times of darkness and confusion, coming together to celebrate what we love is the best medicine and Fandom Fest aims to fill that prescription! We’re excited to bring Fandom Fest to you all and hope you’re excited, too!

  Adult Services Assistant Librarian Ashley Brooke Sero